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Thread: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

  1. #1
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    Default A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    While my mini-faering is sleeping half done in the shed, I decided to start another build in my basement over the winter. My oldest nephew had just turned 3 and I felt he might like a Viking ship of his own, to be set up in the living room for play while he is little, then taking it to the cottage when he can swim completely on his own.

    The boat is basically a dory skiff with a solid white pine bottom and 4mm okoume planking.


    The rendering in FreeshipPlus 3.4 isn't great but gives an idea.


    All the strakes are cut from a single sheet of plywood, but because of the solid wood bottom it isn't strictly a one sheet boat. It is ~ 8' 4" (2.5m) long and the beam is ~3' 8" (1.12m). The depth measured from the top of the bottom is ~1' (30 cm).

    The lower 3 strakes are connected at the bow, and will be stitched and glued, the sheerstrake is completely separate and will be attached glued lap. The bottom and stems are just screwed to the planking and will be backed up by epoxy fillets. The design is probably overly complex for such a little boat but it allows me to test drive several different building techniques.



    The sheerstrake is scarfed lengthwise. The bottom strakes will be butt joined in the middle of the boat over a fairly beefy frame. Despite stapling the scarf joint with cardboard it didn't come out ultra-neat and needed a lot of sanding. The whole boat will be painted, so I'm not too concerned about the staple holes; they can be filled with epoxy later. The surfaces didn't mate 100% and the scarf joint ended up being a bit of a hard spot.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    The stems are cut from a single 3/4" (19mm) thick pine board. Yes there is cross grain, but because the strakes are connected already at the bow the stem doesn't need to hold the planking together but the planking and backing fillet will hold the stem together like a gusset. It is a kid boat, so I don't think I'd need a stem at all, but the stem horns will impart the "Viking look".





    The whole thing is coming together pretty nicely.



    The boat was light enough that I could lift it up onto sawhorses to get a side view.



    Note that priming and painting the walls of my basement workshop is on the backburner while I'm busy using it.

    When I developed the strake layout in FreeshipPlus, the bow and stern halves came out differently even though the linesplan shows the boat to be symmetrical. Instead of building a paper model to figure out which half was "more right" I cut them as the computer spit them. The "better half" worked better for the bow and the other half is now the stern, which is a bit lower. There is a line attached at the stern diagonally across to the frame. Similar to the "mini-faering" I am building in the shed, the boat has a bit of twist, but this eliminates it. I am hoping that the correct shape will be locked in once the seams are filleted and taped.

    And there it sits till the basement gets warm enough for my new epoxy (it needs 60 F, ~25 degrees C). I used up all my cold cure epoxy on the gluing the bottom and repairing a dog sled. Believe it or not, it is the end of April and I'm still using the sled.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    It's interesting that you got 8' 4" out of an 8' sheet, especially considering that the sheer plank must be 8' 9" at the very least. I can imagine the layout on the full sheet, but would like to see a picture of it if you have one.

    I once built a double ended dory from one sheet, no scarfs, for my son, when he was perhaps 5 years old. It worked well for him despite the fact that it was so narrow, but when I got in it the COG was so high that I got a bit wet.

    Yours looks to be a much better design.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    I see a new project in my future.
    Steamboat

    I get by with the judicious use of serendipity.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Adorable!!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Fantastic! What a lucky boy.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    It's interesting that you got 8' 4" out of an 8' sheet, especially considering that the sheer plank must be 8' 9" at the very least. I can imagine the layout on the full sheet, but would like to see a picture of it if you have one.

    I once built a double ended dory from one sheet, no scarfs, for my son, when he was perhaps 5 years old. It worked well for him despite the fact that it was so narrow, but when I got in it the COG was so high that I got a bit wet.

    Yours looks to be a much better design.
    This was my approximate cutting layout. I say approximate because I did the sheerstrake differently; I didn't want the scarf joint to be in the middle so I made a short and a long piece. Freeship isn't very good about making straight ends of the plates unless you put a hard knuckle line in, but I just lofted the sheerstrake slightly differently on the actual plywood panel. The gridlines are 25cm.

    Turns out the 3-strake panel layout on the left agreed with the linesplan and the one on the right with the larger gaps at the ends of the strakes was a bit of a handful to wrestle into a shape that agreed with the front half of the boat. If I ever suspect software hickups in the future I will build a paper model first.

    I first split the panel lengthwise in the middle, then cut the pieces with the 2 halves clamped together and everything raised up high enough so the sawblade wouldn't hit the floor. The more gentle curves were cut with a circular saw with a strip of wood clamped in the curve as a guide. The tighter curves I cut with a sabresaw. I hate those because they vibrate so much and the cutting accuracy leaves something to be desired. The last bit of the "darts" between the strakes I cut with a hacksaw blade in a handle that grips the blade at just one end.

    I watched Stefan's (Flo-mo) videos about testing the baby boat and it was the same thing: plenty stable for kids but tippy for an adult and barely enough room to row.

    This boat managed to be longer than 8' because I measured to the outside of the stems, used 250cm plywood, and because of the overlapping nose ends of the strakes.

    If I had to build a little boat again (I might for my little niece, who is just 5 months old now), I would use a different design with only 3 strakes and the bottom also on the same sheet. This would be way simpler (and the panels for that design came out symmetrical) and it would be a true one-sheet boat.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Brilliant!
    -Dave

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    You're going to be the cool uncle for sure! Very nice build!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Next one he can help the build. Terrific idea......indoctrination at 3.........

  11. #11
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Thank you for sharing your project -- it is such a neat and clever design.
    You are the coolest aunt (uncle?) ever .

  12. #12
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Far from being the "two month build" that I envisioned when I started this project, progress has nevertheless been made.

    This is a trial fit of the small angle frame that is used in the ends of the faerings. These, together with a pretty beefy centre frame, are all that is necessary to hold the shape of this small boat.



    I fibreglassed the plywood fillets inside and the whole outside of the boat. After experiencing some epoxy rejection issues I made sure I cleaned the boat extra-well to get rid of the amine blush and switched epoxy brands. Looks like the "Ecopoxy" that I was using at first blushed a lot, to the extent of having a noticeable slimy layer on top and there were tiny pockmarks in the cured epoxy where it was exuded. After switching to "Exp system" epoxy I had no more problems.



    Now the bottom strakes are filleted and taped and the sheerstrake is attached glued lap. While the epoxy on the sheer strake is curing the boat is relegated to the back of the shed while I'm working on several other projects (Yes, that's a new one being started on the floor in the front of the shed.)


  13. #13
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Needless to say, I am very impressed with your work. Your little nephew is a very lucky boy!
    Jay

  14. #14
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Greer View Post
    Needless to say, I am very impressed with your work. Your little nephew is a very lucky boy!
    Jay
    Thanks! I hope he (and his younger brother) will appreciate it.

    This is the boat sanded just before the last coat of epoxy.



    Seats and footstretcher will need to be fitted to the children after delivery. They will probably need to be changed as they grow so I won't make these fancy or an integral part of the hull.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Quote Originally Posted by BOI View Post
    Thanks! I hope he (and his younger brother) will appreciate it.

    This is the boat sanded just before the last coat of epoxy.



    Seats and footstretcher will need to be fitted to the children after delivery. They will probably need to be changed as they grow so I won't make these fancy or an integral part of the hull.
    Nice one son.
    Those sloping frames at the ends are called stamerons. The thwart rests on the middle frame, and in Norwegian practice according to Lagspiller has no thwart riser, but is allowed to rock as you row. You may need to cut a step into the frame to locate it at the correct height.
    I would make a pair of "racks" for the foot stretcher like this,
    Borwicks skiff.jpg
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: A child's "Viking boat" for my little nephew

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Nice one son.
    Those sloping frames at the ends are called stamerons. The thwart rests on the middle frame, and in Norwegian practice according to Lagspiller has no thwart riser, but is allowed to rock as you row. You may need to cut a step into the frame to locate it at the correct height.
    I would make a pair of "racks" for the foot stretcher like this,
    Borwicks skiff.jpg
    That footstretcher seems like a good idea, similar to what Paul Gartside uses in his designs. For myself I would need the stretchers right in the end where the bottom narrows too much, but I'd have to sit low in that hull for stability with my legs stuck straight out. I could make the racks and board, then attach them in the proper spot when I get there. I was thinking the fender tied to the seat would be simpler, but maybe dangerous; the kids could get their feet stuck in the rope if they capsize.

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